‘Initially inspired by the music of Mark-Anthony Turnage, this dance work also incorporates music by the iconic electronic music artist Aphex Twin. Taking its cue from these composers, and from visual artists such as the photographer
Gregory Crewdson, the piece feeds off the juxtaposition of neurotic energy and claustrophobic atmospheres found in two contrasting pieces of Turnage’s chamber music, pitched against the calmer, more hypnotic textures of Richard D
James’ ambient musical territory.
‘Essentially non-narrative, Subterrain nonetheless allows the natural chemistry of human relationships to imbue the work with a cross-current of sensual tensions, leading us into sometimes mysterious and uncomfortable territory.
‘The collaborative team has, as much as possible, taken advantage of the extended gestation period of this work to allow chance method approaches to ‘interfere’ with the creative process, allowing a cross-current of influences and ideas to infiltrate the work almost at random.’
Ashley Page choreographer
- Ashley Page
- Mark-Anthony Turnage
- Jon Morrell
- Lighting design:
- Peter Mumford
Premiere: Sadler's Wells, London, 22 October 2013
Born in Rochester, Kent, Page trained locally and then at the Royal Ballet Lower and Upper Schools before joining the Royal Ballet (at Covent Garden, London) in 1976. During his formative years in the Company he worked closely with Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, creating numerous roles in new ballets by both of them, as well as working with visiting choreographers such as Glen Tetley and, crucially, Richard Alston who became a mentor for Page during his subsequent development as a choreographer.
He was promoted to Principal in 1984, the same year in which he choreographed his first professional work for the Company, A Broken Set of Rules. Page continued to develop his choreographic ‘voice’ alongside his dancing career, creating 17 ballets for the Company as well as being commissioned by Rambert Dance Company and Dutch National Ballet among others. He became known for his often daring collaborations with visual artists and contemporary composers, and for his interest in finding new contexts for dance to explore. His Fearful Symmetries, created in 1994 at Covent Garden, featured a central role for Irek Mukhamedov which quickly became an iconic vehicle for the dancer.
In 2002, after 27 years with the Royal Ballet Page was offered the artistic directorship of the then failing Scottish Ballet, and over the subsequent ten years redeveloped the Company into an internationally renowned modern ballet company with an eclectic repertoire which attracted critical acclaim, several awards and new audiences. He created many new works for the Company, including four full-length ballets (The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty and Alice) as well as several contemporary and neo-classical pieces and these productions, along with important acquisitions and new commissions by significant choreographers, repositioned Scottish Ballet as a vibrant new force within the UK and abroad. Regular invitations to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival were followed by foreign tours to China and America, as well as frequent visits to perform in London.
During his final year at Scottish Ballet Page was commissioned to create a new work for San Francisco Ballet (Guide to Strange Places) which was premièred in March 2012 and featured in that Company’s highly successful London season six months later. Now entering the third phase of his career as a freelance choreographer and director, Page is currently responding to numerous commissions from ballet and contemporary dance companies (including Rambert Dance Company, the Royal Ballet of Flanders, Joffrey Ballet, the Vienna State Ballet and the Polish National Ballet) as well as planning projects at Glyndebourne (Hippolyte et Aricie with director Jonathan Kent) and with Scottish Opera, where he will direct his first production in that field. Page recently collaborated with the dancers of the Vienna State Ballet to create the dances for the New Year’s Concert, which was broadcast on the 1st January 2013 from Vienna.
Awards include: Time Out Award for Best New Dance Production Fearful Symmetries 1994; Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production for Fearful Symmetries 1995; TMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance 2004 – Scottish Ballet for surefooted modernisation under Ashley Page and dynamic performances; Herald Angel Award for Scottish Ballet Dances Balanchine, Edinburgh Festival 2005; OBE (Order of the British Empire) 2006; Critics Circle Award – Scottish Ballet for Outstanding Repertoire / Classical 2007; Herald Archangel Award 2011 for his long association with the Edinburgh Festival through Scottish Ballet; De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement, National Dance Awards 2012; Honorary Degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2012.
A composer of international stature, Mark-Anthony Turnage is indisputably among the most significant creative figures to have emerged in British music of the last three decades.
His first opera, Greek, established Turnage’s reputation as an artist who dared to forge his own path between modernism and tradition by means of a unique blend of jazz and classical styles.
Three Screaming Popes, Kai, Momentum and Drowned Out emerged during his time in Birmingham with Simon Rattle, followed by Blood on the Floor, his unique score written for the distinguished jazz musicians John Scofield and Peter Erskine, and Martin Robertson.
His second full-length opera, The Silver Tassie won both the South Bank Show and the Olivier Awards for Opera in 2001; his third opera Anna Nicole played to sold –out houses at Covent Garden in 2011 and has received new productions in Germany and New York, as well as a revival at Covent Garden in Autumn 2014.
Turnage has been resident composer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra and last year began an association with the London Symphony Orchestra for whom he wrote a major new work, Speranza. Other recent works include new ballet scores for both Sadlers Wells (Undance) and the Royal Ballet, a piano concerto and a percussion concerto.
Much of Turnage’s music is recorded on Decca, Chandos, EMI, Black Box and the London Philharmonic Orchestra label, while Scorched, on Deutsche Grammophon, was nominated for a Grammy. Turnage is Research Fellow in Composition at the Royal College of Music, and is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Richard David James (born 18 August 1971), best known by his stage name Aphex Twin, is an Irish-born British electronic musician and composer. He founded the record label Rephlex Records in 1991 with Grant Wilson-Claridge. He has been described by The Guardian as ‘the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music’.
Dance includes: productions for Siobhan Davies, Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance, Birmingham Royal Ballet and recently Ein Reigen for Volksoper, Vienna; Alice, Petrushka, Carmen, Pennies From Heaven, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, 32cryptograms and Cinderella for Scottish Ballet; Reading Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall; and Take Five, E=mc2 and Faster for Birmingham Royal Ballet & National Theatre of Tokyo.
Recent opera: La Traviata, La Cenerentola (Glyndebourne); Manon Lescaut (Baden Baden); The Damnation of Faust, Lucrezia Borgia, Madame Butterfly (ENO); Werther, Butterfly, Faust, Carmen, Peter Grimes (New York Met); The Ring (Scottish Opera); Eugene Onegin, The Bartered Bride (ROH); Siegfried, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre (concert staging direction and design) (Opera North).
Recent theatre: King Kong (Global Creatures/Australia); Ghosts, Stephen Ward, Top Hat (& UK Tour), Old Times, Jumpy, Absent Friends, Much Ado about Nothing, The Misanthrope (West End); The Wolf from the Door, Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court Theatre); Wonderland (Hampstead Theatre); Other Desert Cities (Old Vic); King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre & BAM); The Dark Earth & the Light Sky (Almeida Theatre); Bull (Sheffield Theatres); Scenes from an Execution (National Theatre).
Peter recently directed and designed a concert version of The Ring Cycle for Opera North.
Awards include: Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance (The Glass Blew In & Fearful Symmetries); Olivier Award for Best Lighting (The Bacchai); Knight of Illumination Award (Sucker Punch) and Helpmann and Green Room Awards (King Kong).